2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

The Choice is Yours

Samira Khattak - Whitby, Canada

I'm not the first to say that I do not have any idea where life will lead me, and I certainly won't be the last either. It can be difficult and overwhelming to choose a career for the unpredictable future, but it's also important to recognize that you should not stress too much over the decision. This was a realization I definitely learned to come to terms with these last few weeks. After months of unnecessary worry, stress, and confusion, I've decided that I want to major in environmental science when I attend university this coming fall. This was a difficult choice to make, especially when my friends, family, and even I believed I was going to be a doctor, or possibly an engineer. Imagine what a surprise it was for all of us when I revealed my decision! But that's the thing about life, isn't it? It always seems to be full of unexpected surprises that we can choose to learn and grow from.

I have been passionate about the environment from a young age. When I was a kid, I always used to say that I wanted to be an environmentalist when I grew up, so I could help save the planet that humans seemed to be destroying quite rapidly. I took a grade 11 environmental science class last year, where I learned about many environmental issues facing the Earth today. I was also educated on some of the local ecological concerns we have, which was a different viewpoint for me, since I always seemed to focus on the bigger picture. This class taught me about various environmental topics, outlined in our units of study. I have also been in the environmental club at my school since grade 9. We focus on how to lessen waste and energy consumption within our school community. We created a vermi-composter so people could compost their food scraps instead of throwing them out, and we also monitor recycling and electricity usage. With this club I volunteered in various events in my community and participated in programs at a local conservation area, where I led hikes, ran activities, and educated children about the problems our Earth is facing. I care a lot about the environment and I can only hope that by spreading awareness I can get others to care too.

When it comes to choosing a career or a major, it is always important to follow your passion, no matter what it is. You are the person who will have to wake up every day and go to your job; no one else will do it for you. So you should decide on a career where your interests lie. I told this to myself numerous times before I made my decision, realizing that the opinions of others do not matter in this case, and they should not influence my choice. When I concluded that I wanted to pursue environmental science many factors came into play, including the fact that science has always been my strong suit. When you are successful at something, you will naturally have an interest and passion for it. Therefore, one should choose a major with subjects that they are strong in, and know they will enjoy learning about.

Deciding upon a career may be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. While some people know from a young age what they want to be, many others are confused about where their passions truly lay. When I chose to study environmental science, I took into account the fact that I have such a profound interest for it, which I evidently displayed even when I was younger. I also recognized that I have always been successful in science courses throughout high school. Realizing that this choice was only mine to make, made the decision all the more challenging. I was worried I would disappoint the people around me. But the truth about life is no matter what you do, you will never be able to please everyone. So the one you should be most concerned about making happy is yourself. The moment people take their happiness into account is when they end up becoming successful. Looking into this unpredictable future we should aim to learn new things, follow our passions, and make choices for ourselves.